FIRST TWELVE MINUTES OF MARYLAND DEATHFEST: THE MOVIE ARE NOT PROMISING
A deleted scene from Iron Man 2? Nope, just one of the many cinematically stimulating moments in Maryland Deathfest: The Movie
Alright, I kinda don’t wanna talk any shit about Maryland Deathfest: The Movie for a number of reasons. I don’t know David Hall, the dude who made it, but I know he’s worked with a lot of cool bands I like, including Fuck the Facts and Today is the Day. Scott Hull mastered the audio, and I don’t think it’s any secret that if Scott Hull asked me to walk a few feet ahead of him and sprinkle roses in his path, I would happily do so. Maryland Deathfest is clearly one of the best U.S. festivals in all of metaldom, and I don’t want anyone to think I’m speaking ill of that fine institution, ’cause I ain’t. The first twelve minutes of the movie premiered earlier today at Metal Injection, and the Metal Injection dudes are like brothers to me, so I don’t want anyone to think that I’m disparaging that site. And I certainly don’t want anyone to think I’m trashing any of the artists in the movie, ’cause they really had nothing to do with its creation.
With all of that said, those first twelve minutes of this movie really do not make me wanna see the next twelve minutes.
For one thing, nothing of interest happens for roughly the first three minutes. You know the whole theory about how it’s good to grab the audience’s attention right from the get-go? Well, that lesson was completely ignored here. Even moments when excellent musicians like Grace Perry and Land Phil show-up are a waste, ’cause they don’t get to do nuthin’. I mean, it looks like they might be saying something – maybe even something interesting – but who the fuck knows, because for no apparent reason whatsoever, the audio has been almost completely muted. I assume that was an artistic choice, but… why? Especially when you have footage of people screaming right into the camera – why mute that? What’s the thought behind it? Is it the quiet before the storm? If so, did no one who was working on this think, “Gee, it’s ‘quiet’ before the storm, not ‘silence’ before the storm.” Can you imagine if instead of thirty-seven seconds of acoustic guitars, Metallica had started “Battery” with thirty-seven seconds of silence? You’d be like “What the fuck is going on here?” For fuck’s sake, when the clip started, I thought my speakers were broken or something. And even if you wanted to have some silence, why make it last for THREE MINUTES???
But thank Christ we have all that B&W footage of kids sitting on the sidewalk or laying down on the lawn, right? Nothing gets you more excited than watching other people be bored. I’ve done my share of waiting for a show to begin, and I don’t need any home movies of that experience – let alone home movies of other people suffering through that experience. Unless the idea was to make us experience the boredom of the would-be concertgoers, in which case, mission accomplished.
And then the performance footage starts. Performance footage! Great! Except, uh… I have no idea what the thought process was behind the editing. It’s insanely fast, but except for a couple of brief moments, it’s not cut to the rhythms or the melodies of the music; it just seems kind of arbitrary, like the editor was having a seizure. I know people like to bitch about the way metal videos are cut these days – that it’s all too fast or whatever – but I can’t recall a time in the past when I saw some editing like this and really just had no idea what was going through the filmmaker’s mind. Imagine an old-school television director shouting “CAMERA ONE! CAMERA TWO! CAMERA ONE! CAMERA TWO!” over and over again for no good reason, and you’ll understand what I mean.
And I’m not even sure better editing could’ve saved it, to be honest. There a complete lack of energy, and the shot choices are weird. Why am I watching that drummer pick some goop from his eyes during downtime in the song? Am I supposed to think, “Drummers have goop in their eyes just like me! MUSICIANS ARE PEOPLE, TOO!!!”
So, yeah. Thus ends my interest in Maryland Deathfest: The Movie.
But don’t take my word for it. Watch the footage at Metal Injection, and then let us know what you think in our comments section. At least the music, by Hero Destroyed, Triac, and Jig Ai, is pretty good.